Buy the book!
Introducing the Grassroots DirectoryWe are very happy to announce the launch of our crowdfunding campaign with Unbound Books. We're hoping to raise enough funds to produce this all-colour, all-connecting A-Z in 2017 and we would love to have your help and backing to make this happen. Here's the text of our call out video!
The Grassroots Directory is a new source book that aims to showcase the most innovative, practical and exciting community-led projects in the UK.
This A-Z guide to grassroots Britain will list more than 200 enterprises that will take you all the way from Alternative currencies to Zero waste. You can find out where they are, what makes them tick, how to set one up in your own hometown.
Flick through, and you’ll find that H is for Hops grown in neighbourhood gardens for a micro-brewery in Brixton. And it’s also H for Hydro in Scotland and Hens in your backyard and Hackerspaces and Hubs popping up everywhere in between.
Looking for a co-operative bakery in Liverpool? No problem! Look under B for Bakeries at the front, or Liverpool at the back. And you will find the story behind the wonderful Homebaked in Anfield. You might even pick up some tips about baking an essential sour dough loaf for your community harvest feast.
Joining the dotsEverything in this book is connected. Take an apple: you can pick one for free in a community orchard or become part of a fruit foraging scheme and collect enough unwanted apples from your local gardens and street trees to make juice and cider – like Dan and Joe from the incredible Moss Cider Project in Manchester.
Or if you want to juice those apples yourselves, why not check out your local Library of Things for an apple press. Got one already but it needs fixing? Take it to your local Repair Cafe and find out how to mend it (along with your old smartphone and broken umbrella). Got juice left over? You can share it at your community kitchen or junk food cafe, and take the residue to the community compost pile. And don’t forget to join the local wassail for the next planting year!
The Grassroots Directory after being involved with community projects since 2008. We felt there were some great stories happening that people would love to know about. So we started writing them down: what it was like to start up an urban farm, to learn how to chop firewood and plant potatoes, organise a bike lane, a community bee group, or local currency. We created a co-operative local blog, then a national one, then a national quarterly paper. Now we’d like to put these stories in a book: one place for everyone to share their knowledge, skills and good-time experiences.
We want The Grassroots Directory to be full of possibilities for people looking towards a future that is fairer, more Earth-friendly, and – yes – more fun! You can use it for inspiration, for practical know-how, to find out what is going on in your region (and everywhere else too).
By the way, if you know of a lively community project in your area do get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!
Charlotte Du Cann and Mark Watson
Come to the show!
Welcome to Base Camp at Embercombe 2016Calling all fellow explorers on the edge of civilisation! The Dark Mountain Project is setting up BASE CAMP at Embercombe in Devon on the weekend of September 2nd-4th 2016 and you are invited to join us.
It's the first large gathering to be held by Dark Mountain for three years and will be a great opportunity to explore the issues the project has raised, to share ideas with real people in a real place, to sit round a hearth and hear stories from the other side of the fire.
We are thrilled to be hosted for the first time by Embercombe, on the edge of Dartmoor in Devon, England - an amazing place, set amidst fifty acres of permaculture woodland, fields and gardens, with a variety of eco buildings, yurts and a lake for swimming
The programme for the event will include speakers and performers who are producing some of the most interesting and creative responses to this era of converging crises. Just as important, throughout the weekend, there will be a chance for everyone who attends to actively contribute.
BASE CAMP aspires to a rich mix of talks, workshops and performance, and to the kind of alchemy that can happen when you honour the spaces that open in-between. It's a chance to replenish, to take a fresh look at the maps and to plan new routes and adventures. If you're an old friend of Dark Mountain, or have just discovered us, we hope you'll want to be part of it.
In keeping with our desire for an intimate, participative event, we are limiting numbers to 150. Tickets are now on sale. Do follow our blog meanwhile and keep up to date on our Facebook event page.You can find all the necessary information from transport to accommodation on the website. Hope to see you there!
Charlotte Du Cann and Dougie Strang
Images: Brixton Pound £5 note designed by Jeremy Deller; Homebaked crew with their famous pies in Anfield; apple pressing by Jonathan Goldberg; Wing (for Manon) by Rebecca Clark; yurts at Embercombe.